Nikon Z6 Vs Nikon D3500

When it comes to selecting a camera, Nikon has consistently been regarded as a reliable brand because to its reputation for both quality and performance. The Nikon Z6 and the Nikon D3500 are two of the most well-liked cameras in the brand’s arsenal. Both cameras come with a variety of features and capabilities that are distinct from one another, making them suitable for various kinds of photographers.

In this post, we will compare the Nikon Z6 with the Nikon D3500, highlighting the key differences between the two cameras and providing you with the information you need to make an educated choice depending on the requirements of your photography.


The Nikon D3500 is a single-lens reflex camera, whereas the Nikon Z6 is a mirrorless camera. This basic distinction has repercussions for a variety of characteristics of their performance as well as their functioning. Because mirrorless cameras are often smaller and lighter, they have become a popular option for photographers who want to take pictures while traveling or on the street.

In contrast, digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) include a conventional optical viewfinder and typically have a longer battery life. Let’s get deeper into the specifics to better understand the ways in which each of these cameras is unique from the others.

Design and Build Quality

The body of the Nikon Z6 is made of magnesium alloy, which lends the device both strength and portability despite its relatively small weight. The ergonomic design of the grip and the thoughtful placement of the control configuration make it very simple to operate. Because it is a DSLR, the Nikon D3500 has a design that is more conventional and features a bigger grip.

In spite of having a little more cumbersome design due to the inclusion of a mirror and an optical viewfinder, it is still quite lightweight. Both cameras have a sturdy construction and come with weather sealing to ensure that they are protected from dirt and moisture.

Sensor and Image Quality

Comparatively, the Nikon Z6 features a full-frame CMOS sensor with 24.5 megapixels, while the Nikon D3500 has an APS-C CMOS sensor with 24.2 megapixels. The Z6’s bigger sensor enables improved performance in low-light conditions as well as an expanded dynamic range.

It also has the advantage of being able to use the whole spectrum of lenses designed for full-frame cameras. The image quality produced by the sensor of the Nikon D3500, on the other hand, is exceptional, particularly considering the price range in which it is sold.

Autofocus System

Because of its cutting-edge hybrid autofocus system, the Nikon Z6 is at the top of its class when it comes to focusing speed and accuracy. It contains 273 phase-detection autofocus points that cover a large region of the frame to ensure quick and accurate focusing.

These points cover a large portion of the picture. Because it is an entry-level DSLR, the Nikon D3500 features an 11-point focusing system that, while it performs admirably, does not compare to the Z6 in terms of its sophistication or coverage.

Specifications Comparison

SpecificationNikon Z6Nikon D3500
Sensor TypeFull Frame CMOSAPS-C CMOS
Megapixels24.5 MP24.2 MP
ISO Range100 – 51,200 (expandable to 204,800)100 – 25,600 (expandable to 51,200)
Image ProcessorEXPEED 6EXPEED 4
Continuous Shooting SpeedUp to 12 fpsUp to 5 fps
Video Recording4K UHD at 30p/25p/24pFull HD 1080p at 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
Autofocus SystemHybrid AF (273 points)11-point AF system
ViewfinderElectronic (EVF)Optical (pentamirror)
LCD Screen3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LCD3.0-inch fixed LCD
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, HDMIWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB, HDMI
Battery LifeApprox. 310 shots per chargeApprox. 1,550 shots per charge
Weight (Body Only)Approx. 585gApprox. 365g

Low-Light Performance

The Nikon Z6 performs exceptionally well in low-light conditions as a result of its bigger sensor and more powerful image processing capabilities. Even at the highest ISO settings, it generates photos that are crisp and free of noise.

When working in well-lit areas, the Nikon D3500 works wonderfully; however, when working in more difficult lighting circumstances, it may struggle to offer the same level of image quality.

Video Capabilities

When compared to the D3500, the Nikon Z6 provides videographers with a large number of benefits. It is capable of shooting 4K video at a frame rate of 30 frames per second, which results in stunningly cinematic imagery.

In addition to that, it has a number of capabilities that are geared specifically at video, such as focus peaking, zebra patterns, and an external microphone input. On the other hand, the D3500 can only capture movies in Full HD at a maximum of 60 frames per second and does not have any sophisticated video functions.

User Interface and Controls

When it comes to the whole experience of shooting with a camera, the user interface and controls are of the utmost importance. The user interface of the Nikon Z6 is designed to be intuitive, and it is equipped with a touchscreen that can tilt and an electronic viewfinder (EVF) that has a high resolution.

It provides a broad variety of possibilities for modification, which enables photographers to personalize the camera according to their own interests. The Nikon D3500 sports a user interface that is more conventional, with physical buttons and a back LCD screen that is fixed in place. Because of its user-friendliness and general straightforwardness, it is an outstanding option for novices.

Battery Life

In comparison to mirrorless cameras, single-lens reflex cameras, sometimes known as DSLRs, typically have longer battery lives. The Nikon D3500 has earned a reputation for having an impressively long battery life, since it is able to take up to 1,550 pictures on a single charge.

To put that into perspective, the Nikon Z6, which is a mirrorless camera, has an approximate battery life of 310 shots per charge. It is important to note, however, that mirrorless cameras may leverage power-saving technologies like as the electronic viewfinder (EVF) to increase the life of their batteries.

Lens Compatibility

The Nikon Z6 and the Nikon D3500 both come with a diverse collection of lens choices to choose from. The Nikon Z6 makes use of the Z-mount system, which enables compatibility with F-mount lenses by way of an adapter and gives users access to native Z-mount lenses that are of a very high quality. Because it is a DSLR, the Nikon D3500 utilizes the F-mount lens mounting system, making it compatible with a wide variety of Nikon lenses.

When it comes to photography, having access to a variety of lenses is an important factor to consider since it enables photographers to broaden their creative potential and fulfill a variety of specialized shooting requirements.

Price and Value for Money

When purchasing a camera, cost is frequently one of the most important considerations. Because it is a higher-end camera with sophisticated capabilities and a full-frame sensor, the Nikon Z6 has a higher price tag than other Nikon cameras. On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 is a digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) that has a price tag that is reasonable.

Because of this, it is an ideal choice for beginning photographers or photographers who are concerned about their spending. Taking into consideration their distinct markets and feature sets, both cameras provide satisfactory value for the money spent.

Pros and Cons

In order to outline each camera’s primary advantages and disadvantages, below are some pros and downsides of each model:

Nikon Z6


  • Full-frame sensor for high picture quality
  • Superior autofocus technology Remarkable performance in low light Capability to record in 4K
  • Extensive lens compatibility


  • A life span for the battery that is somewhat shorter
  • A more expensive point of entry

Nikon D3500


  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • Incredible runtime from the battery
  • A cost that is not prohibitive
  • Large selection of lenses that are compatible


  • Limited video capabilities
  • Smaller APS-C sensor


To summarize, both the Nikon Z6 and the Nikon D3500 are wonderful cameras, each with their unique set of advantages and markets for which they are best suited. The Z6 shines in a variety of specialized areas, including its performance in low light, its superior focusing, and its video capabilities. It is perfect for both amateurs and pros who place high demands on their equipment’s performance.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3500 is a great option for novice photographers as well as photographers working with a limited budget because of its amazing value for the money, ease of use, and exceptional battery life. When deciding which camera is best for you, take into account your individual photographic demands, as well as your tastes and financial constraints.


Q. Can I use my existing Nikon lenses with the Nikon Z6?
A. Yes, the Nikon Z6 is compatible with F-mount lenses using an adapter.
Q. Which camera is better for shooting videos, the Nikon Z6, or the Nikon D3500?
A. The Nikon Z6 is the better choice for shooting videos, thanks to its 4K recording capability and advanced video features.
Q. Is the Nikon D3500 suitable for professional photography?
A. While the Nikon D3500 is an entry-level DSLR, it can still deliver excellent image quality and is suitable for various types of photography, including professional work.
Q. Can I use the Nikon Z6 for sports or fast-action photography?
A. Yes, the Nikon Z6’s advanced autofocus system makes it well-suited for capturing fast-action moments, including sports photography.
Q. Which camera offers a better battery life, the Nikon Z6, or the Nikon D3500?
A. The Nikon D3500 offers significantly better battery life compared to the Nikon Z6.


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